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The Tragedy of the European Union: Disintegration or Revival? Hardcover – March 11, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The most honest and sensible book yet to tackle the euro crisis. Soros eschews the sanctimony and pseudoscience that frequently accompany commentary on the EU and gets right to the basic political conflicts and human foibles that underlie the union’s problems.”—Foreign Affairs

“It is clear that his observations about the eurozone crisis and the structural flaws in the euro are largely correct… The book remains an interesting read and Soros does an excellent job of concisely highlighting the challenges facing the EU… The book remains an interesting read and Soros does an excellent job of concisely highlighting the challenges facing the EU.”—Forbes.com

"Soros’s trenchant critique appears on the mark.”—Financial Times

About the Author

George Soros is chairman of Soros Fund Management and is the founder of a global network of foundations dedicated to supporting open societies. He is the author of several bestselling books including The Crash of 2008: The New Paradigm for Financial Markets; The Crisis of Global Capitalism; The Bubble of American Supremacy; Underwriting Democracy; and The Age of Fallibility. He was born in Budapest and lives in New York City. Dr. Gregor Peter Schmitz is Europe correspondent of Der Spiegel, one of Europe’s leading newsmagazines.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs (March 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610394216
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610394215
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

George Soros was born in Budapest, Hungary on August 12, 1930. He survived the occupation of Budapest and left communist Hungary in 1947 for England, where he graduated from the London School of Economics. While a student at LSE, Mr. Soros became familiar with the work of the philosopher Karl Popper, who had a profound influence on his thinking and later on his professional and philanthropic activities. The financier. In 1956 Mr. Soros moved to the United States, where he began to accumulate a large fortune through an international investment fund he founded and managed. Today he is Chairman of Soros Fund Management LLC.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Even though Soros studied philosophy and economics in London during the fifties, he learned much more from practice. As a pioneer of the Hedge Fund industry, and the most successful global macro manager ever, understands every aspect of the economic and political developments through the markets behavior. This the reason, that he is one of the best to teach us, what really causes the problems in the EU.

During the interview - which is conducted by an experienced journalist, Peter Schmitz from the Spiegel - Soros mostly talks about the current state of the EU economy, focusing especially of the vast disharmony between the financial and banking system in relation to the Euro. I was surprised many times when I was reading Soros' thoughts about the reasons. I knew from his earlier articles at some level, that he blamed Germany's selfish attitude, but I also thought the he also blames the PIGS countries either. It turns out, that only the first one is true. Soros has very profound arguments to support this view. I also didn't know, that he has such a pessimistic view on the future, especially that a decade ago he wrote in his books about the open society, he said that the EU is a role-model for the global community in building an open society. Of course, that doesn't guarantee economic success, something that he admits now.

Even though the book has one of the clearest view of the current snapshot of the EU economy, Soros tends to change subject too many times (something he tends to do in his other interviews too), which is a little annoying when you'd like to read more about the reasons behind his arguments, and Schmitz doesn't always handle him well in these cases.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rudolf E. Baer on April 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"The Tragedy of the European Union.." makes interesting reading, but provides no answers. The content of the Appendix, which represents about a quarter of the book, has been published before.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Athan on May 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The book is more about Soros himself than it is about the European Union.

In four interviews with the Europe correspondent of Der Spiegel you discover the wartime experiences that shaped Soros’ romantic views about the European Union as an “ideal free and open society” and gave him his fundamental insight that if the rules are past their sell-by date you need to break them. Soros tells us what he thinks the EU did right, where he thinks it steered wrong (when it imposed a common currency without carrying on with the reforms that would render the EU an ideal currency union), and why he thinks Europe is now condemned to a lesser future than it could have achieved. You also discover how bad the legendary trader wants to be remembered as a philosopher and a man who used his financial resources to help shape history. And his views about the Middle East, the Ukraine and world politics in general are actually very relevant. Leave it to him to say Putin is currently supporting Assad so the price of oil can stay above 100. You really need to be an 83-year-old billionaire to put that sort of thing in print.

That said, I think he’s got the tragedy wrong. As I’m writing this, Italy can issue 10yr bonds at 3% yield and Angela Merkel’s softly-softly approach that he spends two of the four interviews attacking, seems to have worked. The main economic issue Soros laments, namely that European states have been forced into the position of Latin American countries borrowing in dollars, the essence of the tragedy, seems to be resolved. And Angela Merkel who did not do something radical when she faced a different environment, who did not “lead or leave” Europe, looks vindicated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 14, 2014
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A good summary of the issues in Europe and some solutions from somebody who has a strong track proven record in understanding how the economic system works practically.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jimmy Yu on May 14, 2014
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It is a nice book. Give me the thought of why European country will go down and bankrupt. George Soros make a good comment on European economy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joan Enric Torrent Garcia on March 25, 2014
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Mr. Soros explains matters that normally are difficult to understand in a plain and at the same time knowledgeable way that makes the book enticing and easy to read.

The CDSs trading as a culprit of the financial meltdown making less risky shorting is one of the causes of our current predicament.

Excellent read.
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